SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Global Cultures of Chinese Ceramics

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to

  • Identify major examples of Chinese ceramics and demonstrate comprehension of their main visual features
  • Analyse an art form from different cultural perspectives and different historical periods
  • Apply research skills and methods to art works and contexts for art works relevant to the global consumption of Chinese ceramics in order to make a successful critical argument in a paper 


1 hour Lecture per week. 1 hour Seminar/Tutorial per week.

Scope and syllabus


This course aims to consider the consumption, trade and impact of Chinese ceramics from a global perspective. Encounters with other cultures through ceramics will be discussed along with the consequences of such encounters for local ceramic production, the physical transformation of Chinese ceramics to accommodate foreign tastes and practices, as well as technology and design transfer.


  • Introduction to course plus historical overview part 1 (Neolithic to Tang)
  • Historical overview part 2 (Song to Qing)
  • Introduction to ceramic technology: materials and techniques and sherd handling
  • Ceramic trade from China: history, markets and economics
  • Critical issues: trade, transfer and reception
  • Visit to world ceramics hall galleries in the Victoria and Albert
  • Chinese ceramics in Japan and technology/design transfer in Korea
  • Chinese ceramics in the Middle East: Iran and Ottoman Turkey
  • Chinese ceramics in Europe and Britain
  • Chinese ceramics in the Americas

Method of assessment

The written exam will count for 70%. 2 pieces of coursework will count for 30% (15% each) towards the final mark.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules